Friday, July 30, 2010

Brush vs. Hammer and Drill

Step 1 to 5 Completed. Twenty five steps to go!

Instead of brushes, I chose the hammer and drill today. After months of searching, I finally found the perfect shoe rack for our mudroom. We scored this Ikea TV stand on a clearance sale. 70% off. If you haven't put any Ikea furniture together, let me warn you that it requires tons of patience.

Big help from our little man.
He enjoyed handing out the lightweight pieces to me.

There are no words in the instruction manual, only photo illustrations. The screws, bolts and nuts are all packed together, without separate labeling. You've got to figure it out which piece matches the one indicated on the manual.

All done! Repurposed IKEA TV stand serves as shoe rack.

After almost four hours of hammering, drilling, screwing and awkward bending, I finally finished putting it together (with extra help from my little man and my mom).

Now, we're able to walk in the mudroom without tripping on piles of shoes. It's low enough for our boys to sit on and if it can hold the weight of a flatscreen tv, it should be sturdy enough to occasionally sit on.

My next project will be to put a cushion on top. So, tune in. In the meantime, I'm headed to reward myself with a warm, lavender bath.

- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, July 29, 2010

3. White Garden Room

'White Garden Room'
Acrylic on Canvas. 11 x 14 in.

Welcome to Boxwood Cottage's White Garden Room. This is our third stop in our Hundred Gardens tour. Carola welcomes us in her lovely cottage in Bremen, Germany. Take a seat and savor the delectably designed white room in her garden.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Once there was a Nest

Carpe diem. Seize the day. A phrase we often hear, but only a few amongst us takes to heart. I, for myself is guilty of occasionally taking the hours for granted. Do you find yourself caught up in the busyness of your day that you forget to realize that there are momentary chances to make a huge difference even through our smallest deeds.

Like the day we found this nest in our yard. My friend and I could have chosen to ignore it and proceed to drive to our destination. Instead, we took the opportunity to teach my little man a brief, but meaningful life experience. To touch a precious nest that once held and nurtured tiny feathered nature friends.

Thinking back, I believe it was there to remind us to make the most of each passing moment in our days. Because someday, we'll all leave our own 'nests'.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Shades of Summer

Today, I'm taking you to our backyard. It's the first thing I fell in love with, before we decided to buy our property few years ago. The old trees give a sense of nostalgia, which often makes one wonder their actual ages.

My husband built our beautiful paver patio as a mother's day gift. Now we get to enjoy the serene summer breeze under the natural shade and dine al fresco. My flowers are blooming too, what more can I ask for?

Perhaps, a little more painting time. Right now, it's all about the 'art of relaxing'. Because in few minutes, the silence will be filled with my boys' playful laughters.

- Posted from my iPhone

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pebble Patio

Almost done, just dry brushing the pebble patio. I intentionally didn't worked too much on the pebble details, so as not to take the spotlight out of the focal point.

Are you able to tell which is the star (focal point) of this painting already?

- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fluffing the Seat Cushion

It's Sunday morning & I got to squueze in some painting time before the boys get up.

I'm moving on to the next garden, thousands of miles away. You can't see much of the two wrought-iron vintage chairs I'm painting yet. I'm spreading the purplish cream paint to create an impression of a seat cushion today.

Tune in tomorrow to see where our 'Hundred Gardens' tour will lead us.

Enjoy your Sunday! Thanks for stopping by again.

- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, July 24, 2010

2. Rose Gate Garden

'Rose Gate Garden'
Acrylic on Canvas. 11 x 14 in.

Happy weekend everyone. Today, I'm bringing you to a lovely seaside cottage in Nantucket beach in our 'Hundred Gardens' tour.

The subject for this painting is contributed by celebrated photographer and teacher, Paul Schwartz from Rochester, New York.

We left the rose trellis gate unlocked for you. Come inside and explore the gardens with your imagination.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Growing the Roses

It's past ten in the evening and everyone's asleep. Now, I'm back to the canvas to do some of the last finishing touches on my second painting for my 'hundred gardens' project.

I enjoyed smudging the highlights with my finger, it creates a nice Seurat-like marks on the painting. Try it next time you paint, you'll definitely enjoy it too. Think 'finger painting'.

Tune in, 'cos tomorrow I'll let you know where this beautiful garden is. Good night for now, I got a painting to finish.

Thanks again for joining me in my late nights and mornings here in my blog.

- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

1. White Cheeked Songbirds

'White Cheeked Songbirds'
Acrylic on Canvas. 9 x 12 in.

First stop on our 'Hundred Gardens' tour is Manama, Bahrain. The sweet image of these white-cheeked bulbuls resting on a bird's bath was contributed by photographer and writer Mahmood Al-Yousif.

The Himalayan Bulbuls are medium-sized passerine songbirds which are commonly found in Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Tajikistan.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Beginning

'A thousand steps begin with one', so goes an ancient Chinese proverb. Today, I officially embarked on my 'hundred paintings' project featuring garden themed subjects.

I chose to paint these two white cheeked birds as to start with, as a symbol of the new heights I'm taking. Why two? Because this project is a two-way collaboration between me and the garden enthusiasts across the globe.

If you love photographing gardens or simply enjoy them, I invite you to join my project by sending your photos.

Tomorrow, I'll post the details about this painting.

See you at the gardens!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday Musings

Somebody was up early today to paint with me. I was preparing to start the first painting for my 'Hundred Gardens' Project.

Watching him work on his own space reminded me to enjoy the process with childlike wonder. To occasionally break the rules of art for the sake of pure creativity.

Watching his brushstrokes made me realize once more that we can be who we want to be. In this case, the artists we desire to be. Not defined by the style of art we do, but defining the art we make by who we are.

Just like his painting, others may see it as just another child's doodle. But for him, it's his own 'work of art'. A product of his thought and creative spirit.

- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Flea Market

After baking a quiche for breakfast today, we walked to the flea market. Seeing these flower baskets was a welcome treat. I love how this lady uses old baskets and crates as flower pots. It gives her arrangements a nostalgic and organic feel to it.

It's cloudy today, walking along is easier without the usual summer heat. As of this post, I'm still looking for vintage fabrics & buttons to use for my fall/ winter collection.

Hopefully, I'll find what I'm looking for.

How about you, where are you headed this Sunday?

- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fresh from the Farmers Market

Saturdays are farmers' market days here in our town. I got up early this morning with my boys to shop for fresh produce.

Here, we're picking out the juiciest peaches for the peach crepes I'll be making

Sweet corn on the cob for lunch with grilled pesto chicken.

Cucumbers & onions for the salad. Try sliced cucumbers drizzled with red balsamic vinegar, dash of salt & pepper, and brown sugar. A tasty, refreshing summer side dish.

We love these granola bars from the Amish. These make for healthy quick snack, especially for our little guys.

Loading up on these greens!

And don't forget the carrots. We love snacking on these. Blanch it in hot water then drizzle with agave syrup to cap off your sweet cravings.

Can't wait to cook things up for an al fresco dining with family today.

Have you been to the market today? Share your photos too.

- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hundred Gardens Project

Photographers and Garden Enthusiasts Wanted! Want to see your gardens turn into visual art? Then join the hundred paintings project.

I'm starting a new painting project: 'Hundred Gardens'.

How you can participate: Send me a photo of your garden and I'll paint it. Even if you're not a professional photographer, you may send your digital or scanned photos. You will be given credits if your photo is selected. The artistic the shot is, the better chance it will have to be chosen and painted among the firsts. Let me know which town, state or country your garden is located. Consider it a virtual global garden tour for online viewers to see.

Thanks and I look forward to seeing your beautiful gardens. It's time to show off your green thumbs and let your hard work be seen.

Have a question? Just drop me a line.

A Quiet Time

Grandmas are heaven sent. Today I was able to read my favorite magazines at Borders while our new baby naps in his stroller. And big brother, I bet he's having a blast with Grandma.

Notice the zebra print car seat canopy? I made it few weeks after giving birth and it has since been getting raves from both moms & dads everywhere we go. They've been asking me where I got it.

Maybe I should start making lots of these. Perhaps my next 'quiet time' will be 'sewing time'.

- Posted from my iPhone

Monday, July 12, 2010

ABCs of a Tea Party

With clear skies and nice weather, summer is the perfect time for tea parties. I'm not talking about the political 'tea parties'. This is after all, an art blog.

I recently held a tea party for the kids in our family. I want to share with you my ABC's for preparing a budget-friendly tea party for the little ones and the kids at heart too. I marked the photo above for your reference.

a - For the table napkins, I bought 2 yards of linen fabric and hand drawn the leaf prints with fabric pens.
b - My favorite flea market find! Twenty two set of white and silver vintage china in perfect condition. I wanted my little guests (and the not so little) to have a genuine experience using real tea cups.
c - Set of wooden bowls from Goodwill. Tough and durable for little hands.
d - For my flower centerpiece, I plucked some Nikko Blue Hydrangeas from our yard and set it on vintage blue wine glasses (another flea market find!).
e - No tea bags for that day, only loose leaf teas brewed in IKEA cafe presses.
f - Freshly squeezed lemonade mixed with mango juice, for refreshment.
g - Perfectly warmed tea bread and pastries from our local bakery.

And since my little guests know I'm an artist, I gave them their own 'art kits' complete with sets of paints, paper canvases and brushes from the dollar store. We let them express their creativity painting whatever subject they fancy.

Do I think they had a great time? The smiles from my tiniest guests say it all.

There you go! Have fun hosting your own tea party. Share your photos, I would love to see them too.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Market Day Feature

Hooray for another feature!

The lovely Meghan from Lotus's Workshop featured my veggie and fruit baggie in their website. Check out their juicy site filled with great handmade finds.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Be Happy

Someone once told me that whenever you feel gloomy, look up at the sky. It will somehow 'lift up' your spirits.

I was reminded of that when I took this shot today, and wanted to share it to you.

May the skies above you, may it be cloudy or sunny, bring cheers to your day.

- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, July 3, 2010

An Old Century Style

The classic triangular shawl is revisited. Using vintage style and pattern, I recreated one of the styles that made crochet popular in the late 1800s.

I couldn't help but think about the history of the needle art I came to love while doing this piece. Wondering how many women across centuries took the quiet time to finish the same project. Imagine from 1800s 'til today, this form of art ceaselessly persevered.

It was a joyful process to give life to a classic creation and give history a modern take.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Sunshine State

Will from Florida requested the new color for the iPad sleeve. Orange - zesty as the Sunshine State itself.

Thanks Will for your suggestion, and hope your iPad is getting cozy with its new sleeve.